Westville, Connecticut is buzzing after Hessian turncoat Max Christman turns himself over to Colonel Mortimer Sherwood, of the Virginia Light Brigade, and Captain Aaron Kirkland, of the Connecticut Militia, at Kirkland Farm. Max, a young man from Austria, was given two options joining the Hessian mercenaries and fight for the British or die. Max chose life, but now he has deserted his outfit and wishes to join the Colonial Army. Max loves the American spirit, carries a copy of the Declaration of Independence in his wallet and believes that everyone in America is just "chasing after happiness." Colonel Sherwood works to obtain Max a position in the Colonial Army, but in the meantime Max remains in Westville. While waiting Max and Prudence Kirkland fall in love and experience the full contradictions of the Revolutionary State and the Calvinist Church.